Can Oral Health Affect My Child’s School Performance?

The CDC warns that poor oral health can significantly impact a child’s wellbeing, school performance and long-term success in life. When we look at the difficulty oral health issues can cause in school, it’s easy to see why. Young and Polite Children’s Dentistry believes in a great education background for our children. Let’s explore 6 ways oral health can impact your school performance.

1) Trouble Concentrating
While many children hide it well around grown-ups, the constant pain and discomfort of cavities and gum infections make it difficult to focus.
Your child may seem distracted, irritable or unwilling to learn. But in reality, she may be experiencing pain. She thinks it’s normal, and she doesn’t know how to tell you.

2) Harder to Eat Healthy Foods
This pain makes it more difficult for your child to enjoy healthy foods. He might choose not to eat (or eat well) rather than be in pain. 
When a child isn’t eating well, he suffers from:
• Sluggishness
• Trouble processing information
• Difficulty retaining new information

3) Difficulty Speaking /Language Delays
A child with untreated dental issues may have trouble speaking.
She may try to adjust her mouth to reduce the pain as she talks or chooses not to talk at all, which can be detrimental to developing social skills while in school.

4) Embarrassed to Smile / Bullied
A child with poor oral health is often bullied when he smiles. This can lead to embarrassment that causes him to stop smiling altogether.

5) Withdrawal / Depression
Children with poor oral health often withdraw and can become depressed. They don’t want to answer questions even when they know the answer because of the pain and embarrassment.

6) Suffering Attendance
Because of all of the above, children with oral health issues are 6 times as likely to miss school as those with healthy teeth.

Children don’t always tell parents the real reasons they don’t want to go to school or have trouble while there. You can help your child by scheduling regular appointments with your pediatric dentist. Young and Polite Children’s Dentistry has 4 wonderful locations: Waxhaw, Mint Hill, South Tryon and the new University location. Give Young and Polite Children’s Dentistry a call today to schedule an appointment 980.245.3451. 

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